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Patrick Schoenmaker

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Kenner was purchased by toy company Hasbro in mid-1991 and in 2000 Kenner's product lines were merged into Hasbro's.



Series 1:
Action Figures
Series 2:
Action Figures
12" Figure
Indiana Jones

While Raiders of the Lost Ark hit theaters in July 1981, the young fans had to wait till late 1982 to find the first Indiana Jones toys on store shelves. The simple reason for this long delay was that no licensee had been signed on to Raiders before the film was released. Totally not like today as we can now buy toys even before the film they are based on has hit the theatres!

The company who got the licence to produced the Raiders of the Lost Ark toys is Kenner. The same company responsible for the super successful Star Wars action figure line.
The packaging of Kenner's Indy figures gives this away as their cards show much of the style of their Star Wars action figure line with the figure offset to the side on a color background and a large picture directly from the movie to catch the consumer's eye.

A "4-back" figure card.

Kenner initially released only four 3.75" carded figures in 1982: Indiana Jones, Marion Ravenwood, Toht, and the Cairo Swordsman. An even choice as the kids had 2 heroes and 2 villains to play against each other while reenacting Raiders of the Lost Ark.
These first four figures appeared with a send-away offer for another action figure -- Belloq in Ceremonial Robe -- printed as a blurb on the front and also in more detail on the back of the cards.
With this first release also came 2 playsets: the Well of Souls Action Playset and the Map Room Action Playset.

An improvement to Kenner's previous Star Wars figures is that Indiana Jones and the other characters -- except Marion who received a fabric dress instead -- all got knee joints! But Raiders was not Kenner's first series of figures with knee joints. That honor goes to the toys of the film Butch and Sundance: The Early Years, from 1979.
The cowboys in the Butch and Sundance series were also the first to get a "quick-draw" feature, an innovation given to the Indiana Jones figure. Indy could now swing his whip, draw his pistol or deliver his opponent a nasty upper-cut!

A "9-back" figure card.

Later in 1983, Kenner expanded their Raiders of the Lost Ark toy line with four more 3.75" carded figures: Belloq, Sallah, Indiana Jones in German Uniform, and the German Mechanic. A third action playset -- Streets of Cairo Action Playset -- the Arabian Horse, and the Desert Convoy Truck were also release.

Belloq in Ceremonial Robe was depicted in line with all other figures shown on the second series card backs but was still offered exclusively as a mail-in premium.
A few examples of a carded Belloq in Ceremonial Robe do exist but have never been released for wide dis
tribution. The very few that are available are thought to be salesman samples. Indy fans and collectors often compare this figure on card with the "Holy Grail". It is very hard to find and incredible expensive!

Next to the Raiders of the Lost Ark action figures line, Kenner also released one single 12" Indiana Jones figure, based on the same scale as their Star Wars 12" line of figures.
And because Indiana Jones was played by the same actor as Han Solo -- thus showing a striking resemblance --Kenner removed all clothes from the Han Solo figure and replaced them with the iconic Indiana Jones gear. They also exchanged Han Solo's brown eyes to blue for Indy but they apparently didn't bother re-sculpting his hair, resulting that the 12" Indy figure has an obvious 1970s hairdo with cool sideburns. But that can be camouflaged by placing the fedora on the Indy figure its head.




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